Olde GnarlyWine | Lagunitas Brewing Company

734 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2011: 10.6% ABV, 69 IBU

Added by Todd on 09-22-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 734 | Ratings: 1,611
Photo of goochpunch
2.49/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2008 bottling

Pours out a still-looking red amber with a head that is here and then gone. Smell is hot alcohol up front. Underneath is a vague sweetness, cooked fruit, really toasty malts and a hint of caramel. Way too much alcohol and not enough other stuff to back it up. Taste is very syrupy-sweet at first with some toastiness from the malt. From all the grain used in this to give it such high sweetness and alcohol, you'd think they could at least give some complexity to the beer. Some citrus and pine hops come in the finish with an awkward bitterness. Hops bring more bitter than flavor to the table. Not overall disgusting, just heavy-handedly 2-dimensional (SWEET then bitter [kind of]). Mouthfeel is nice, however. Viscous, slick, and smooth. The body could be a little heftier though, I suppose. Really not drinkable. Give this a couple of years and maybe something interesting might come out of this mess.

 920 characters

Photo of brystmar
2.58/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On draft at the Gingerman in Austin. Served in a pint glass.

A: reddish brown with a half finger of lightish fizzy head, *excellent* retention. Insane amounts of lacing remained on my glass thru the drink.

S: very floral & hoppy with earthy tones and some malts in the backgound. Hints of fruit too.

T: hops are out in force; bitter start to finish with an aftertaste that lingers. Super hoppy beers generally aren't my thing, and this one's no exception. I can see how others might like this stuff, but it's not for me at all. Came in with an open mind, though, and really tried to see the positives here.

M: medium-bodied with LOTS of carbonation. Stings the tongue strongly as it lingers in your mouth.

D: very tough to drink with copious amounts of alcoholic bite (the term "alcoholic warmth" is hardly appropriate) as it goes down. I do like some barleywines but this one is clearly not for me. Can't even finish 1/4 of this glass.

 941 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.61/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded copper-colour pry-off pressure cap. Classic Lagunitas label design.

10.6% ABV. 1.096 O.G.

Cost was...$5.00 USD? Ah, Lagunitas.

Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are well above-average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Creamy and soft-looking, with a nice even consistency. As full and thick as it should be. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is stellar - ~12+ minutes at minimum - shockingly good.

BODY: Clear copper of average vibrance. Clean, with no yeasty or hoppy muck to be seen.

Overall, it's a typical appearance for a barleywine.

AROMA: It's quite hoppy, actually...shockingly so. Pine, floral hops, light hop oils, some resins...why is this so hoppy? Must definitely be an American barleywine. All I get hopwise is some (surprisingly light) caramalt and some pale malts. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was an IPA. There's no toffee, marshmallow, graham cracker, et al.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I'm a bit taken aback. It's just plain not a barleywine aroma. Way overhopped, but appealing outside of stylistic conventions.

TASTE: Has a caramalt and pale malt backbone. And damn, is it hoppy for a barleywine. Heavy notes of pine, resin, and floral hops provide the bulk of the flavour, with hop oils a distant second. There's a bit of biscuit, but no real toffee, marshmallow, etc. The faint brown sugar is a nice touch, I guess, as is some muted citrus zest. It's actually surprisingly plain and shallow overall, with no real intricacy or subtlety to its execution. Not a gestalt beer by any means. Too bitter to be well-balanced.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I don't dislike it, but it's not on par with the quality I've come to expect from Lagunitas. Has an obvious booziness that doesn't do it any favours.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, somewhat creamy, sticky, a bit soft in the third act, overcarbonated, and full-bodied. It gets the job done, but it doesn't accentuate specific notes or elevate the beer overall. A decently executed mouthfeel for a barleywine, but not one that harmonizes with the taste to any special effect.

OVERALL: I thought $5.00 for a barleywine was a steal, but now I'm not so sure. This is overhopped to its detriment, and misses stylistic fundamentals. Drinkable for what it is, but I do wish I had a friend or three to help me finish it off. Maybe it'd get a bit better with age? Not a beer I'd revisit, but I guess for its price you could do worse. A rare miss from the cats at Lagunitas. Very pedestrian.

C- (2.61)

 2,675 characters

Photo of CMB2012
2.71/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into 16oz stemless snifter. O.G. 1.096, A.B.V. 10.6, I.B.U. 69.39.

This brew pours a deep ruby red with a small pinky finger width head. The cap dissipates fairly slow into a very nice creamy looking bubblicious slick with some lacing.

Wow! This beer is definitely fresh, though I cannot find a bottled on date (I guess I am to assume the Two-'Aught-11 written on the bottle stands for 2011), and I know it has been aged for a month at the brewery, but it wreaks of hops! It is sweet and fruity versus piney and resiny. Reminds me of that delicious bubble gum hop scent. But wait, there is something here that turns me off, something peppery that I am not sure is supposed to be there. It could be alcohol, but somehow I don't think so. The more intense my whiff, the more intense the smell. There is something very wrong, it smells like salted or cured ham. It could be that onion smell everyone complains about in Oskar Blues' Gubna. I can't smell anything else after noticing this, it is a big turn off.

The taste, is significantly better. Big sweet malt up front with some dark and dried fruit notes - plum/prune, sugary dates, and some fig too. It all ends with a peppery alcohol burn that mellows out into a sweet malt linger. I can taste the onion as well in this pepper aspect.

The moutfeel is spot on for the style. Full bodied, slightly sticky, smooth, with little carbonation.

This beer is a big disappointment for me. I love barley wines and I usually like Lagunitas. However, this beer is a tough one to finish. I'll admit it may be psychological at this point, but I cannot get that onion/cured meat smell from bothering me. I don't know if I got a bad bottle/batch, but I wish there was a batch number I could give to prevent others from experiencing this if that is the case. I would like to try this again to double check, and at 4.49 a bottle I think I will.

 1,900 characters

Photo of sinistersteve
2.81/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, Lagunitas finally did it. They made a so-so beer. I tried this barley wine one night at the pub with some friends of mine and we couldn't even finish the entire pitcher.
Upon the initial presentation of our pitcher I thought for certain we would be blessed that would live up to its name. The appearance was normal enough. Dark and non-transloucent like what it's supposed to be The sweet aroma was interestingly enough, but the scent of a strong, butt-whooping barley wine wasn't there.The flavor also lacked that over abundance of hops and/or malt that is so typical of beers of this genre. In the end, this beer was way too sweet for our bitter tastes.

 662 characters

Photo of DIM
2.83/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2010 version

a: This was a hazy cherry tinted copper color. It poured with a medium sized, lightly sticky cap.

s: On the sweet side for sure. I found vanilla, toffee, and something I want to call graham crackers. Even at less than a year old I couldn't find much in the way of hops.

t: This was too sweet for my taste, it was pretty sugary actually. I mean plain white table sugar. I also found maple syrup and fruit cocktail in syrup. The finish was an overdone toffee with a lingering bitter tingle.

m: Big bodied and syrupy with gentle carbonation.

d: For an American barleywine not even a year old this was awfully sweet. Cloyingly sweet, I had a hard time finishing it. Where the hell are the hops? On the positives side, the alcohol was well masked.

 760 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2011 vintage.

Appearance -- Pours a cherry-tinted amber with a slim creamy beige head that dissipates into a fine fog.

Smell -- Juicy citrus, toffee, toasted malt, peaches and plums, dank hops, and a modicum of leafy hops. Overall: sticky sweet and lacking in complexity.

Taste -- Dank and citrusy hops, macerated plums and peaches, caramel, leafy vegetal bitterness. Much like the nose, There doesn't seem to be much depth. It tastes like all of the thought was put into the hopping, which reminds one of EVERY other Lagunitas offering. In dire need of malt complexity.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with mild carbonation. Dangerously close to syrupy. More depth in the malt department could have made this forgivable (see: Angel's Share).

Drinkability -- This one just didn't come together for me. Fruity sweetness and citrus hop aroma meets dank basement and leafy vegetables. Where's the rich malt complexity? It really just comes off as a malty DIPA, but what do I know? I still don't like Old Guardian.

Your mileage may vary.

 1,037 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 4/9/2009 (Draft at Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a strong red color body. Small off-white body, diminishing. Raisin and fig, sickly sweet aroma. This is a barley wine. Sickly sweet taste. Alcohol, sticky sweetness. Strong grape taste. Some roasted notes but mostly sweet. Too much. This needs to age for a long while more, have the sweetness go down.

 365 characters

Photo of Fargrow
2.89/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An unnecessary amount of hops in this barleywine. But instead of turning it into a DIPA, Lagunitas managed to make this kind of a mess. Maybe I didn't like these particular hops, or the combination of malt & hops. But this was not very good.

 241 characters

Photo of Docer
2.91/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed a bomber from Fred Meyer... 11.0% Alc. Limited Release..

-Dark red and brown... rather clear and hardly any head as I poured at a 45 deg. angle into a tumbler glass.... mild lacing.. scattered bubbles..

- Smelled it from many feet away... very sweet and earthy smell... bit of alcohol... almost smells like a ham sandwich...

- Wow... way too sweet.. chewy caramel malt madness.. bit of alcohol and a floral hop backbone... but not impressed with this one... may pour it out...

- Sweet chewy aftertaste... earthy.. bit warm and mouthwashy..

- Not very drinkable simply because of the flavor... I'm sure someone out there likes this... but it aint me! Otherwise smooth...

Not at all impressed with this... I'm gonna have to pop open my Full Sail Old Boardhead to gather my Barley Marbles...

Perhaps this is one to age for about 5 years... not gonna buy another one to even try.

 890 characters

Photo of Tupperwolf
2.97/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Aught Six vintage - brand new)

Pours a heavy, syrupy, very clear ruby amber, capped with a very thin lil' tannish head and besmirched with a few bubbles struggling to rise through the thick liquid. The thin, bubbly head leaves a few spotty bits of lace as I drink.

The scent is rich and very sweet - an American maltiness that only a barleywine can produce. There's tons of malts going into this brew, and it shows. Toffee is dominant, and all of those other scents are in there too - a little caramel, a little butterscotch. Some grassy hop and pungent alcohol is noticeable.

The flavor is almost cloyingly sweet, with just enough hop to balance. As a matter of fact, the hops are very bitter, more bitter than flavorful - something I noticed with the Maximus IPA - hopheads of a different bend than I might like them more. Lots of toffee and caramel in the flavor, with a distinct fusel alcohol and a grassy, bitter hoppiness - swallowing is surprising, giving me a huge hit of way overpowering diacetyl sweetness and alcohol combined. I can drink it and don't find it unpleasant, so it gets just under average score. Aging is definitely required for this one.

A syrupy mouthfeel feels almost hot on the tongue with alcohol - it's not dry at all, mind you, but you know the abv is there. It gets everything tingling really pleasantly, and the finish is sticky.

I can drink it now - but I'd rather drink it later. GnarlyWine isn't a very highly hopped American BW, rather intensely sweet and alcoholic.

 1,519 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.02/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 consumed in 2015. Someone brought a growler of this to Stone Soup somehow, so I guess it was on tap somewhere? Considering it was still well-carbonated. Light amber color, clearish, small white head. Sugary, notes of dark fruits, some oxidation and medicinal qualities, cardboard, some sticky booziness still remaining.

 324 characters

Photo of sacullen
3.04/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. First I've seen this vintage on the shelves in Chicago so this is the freshest I've had it.

A: Pours a nice ruby color with quite a bit of head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S: Wow! That's a hoppy barleywine! It took me a few whiffs to get past the hops and smell other aromas, but I can always smell the hops first. It's difficult for me to smell the malts, but there is no boozy smell like other barleywines have.

T: Those hops are still there. Keeping it in the front of your mouth lets you taste some of the sweetness, but there is plenty of bitterness in the finish and just a small bit of burn from the alcohol.

M: This is thick bodied, and lingers for a while. Those hops are still around in the aftertaste and I have found I'm not enjoying it.

D: A bit on the low side, the hops have really ruined this brew for me. I like my barleywines on the sweeter side, so the bitterness doesn't do it for me. It's not bad, just not what I'm looking for. I think it is much better when aged than fresh.

 1,044 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on-tap at Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO, into a tulip glass

Pours a gorgeous dark ruby color. Decent clarity, actually, though the light makes the red body glow. One fingerish of creme head sits on top, though I don't get much lacing, really. That body is damn pretty, though.

Unfortunately, the aroma is awkward and overdone for me. Raisins for days. Raisins and raisins and raisins, cooked down in a pan and drizzled with molasses. It's a bit too strong, too pungent. Add to this a soapy, astringent hop quality and you have a poor effort. I don't pick up on any good aromas from the hops, just the after effects of a good hop dosing. Unfortunate.

The taste is on the same level as the nose: awkward. This could have been good. Instead, it's like stale Raisin Bran. Lots and lots of raisin-centric dark fruit flavors. Sticky sweet like a barleywine should be, but too uncomplex and one-note. It's blunt-force flavor. There's also a weird, musty quality to the beer. This keg can't be too old, can it? I'm drinking this in a popular bar with excellent turnover. I don't know what's going on here, but this is not the complex barleywine that I thought I was getting. This is blunt, unsophisticated beer.

The mouthfeel is poor, but permissibly so given the high ABV%. It's pretty flat (though not entirely still). Did the yeast give out on this particular batch? That would explain the lack of carbonation and the lack of developed flavors. Overall, this is not a good barleywine. It's like a far less hoppy, way less interesting version of most other American Barleywines. Hopefully it's just this keg that's problematic. It isn't like Lagunitas to miss this badly on a beer. Drinkable, but awkward and mostly unejoyable.

 1,733 characters

Photo of victory4me
3.11/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. A very nice looking beer and then completely thrown off by the aroma. I can't figure out if it is the hop or malt bill, but something seems very off. Fruity hops combined with sweet malts create a cherry like aroma. I do not find this aroma enjoyable as it is quite off-putting.

Taste has the same cherry flavors as I smell in the aroma and I find them equally off-putting. Just an odd way these flavors mend together. Cloying sweet and lacking in much needed bitterness. While this isn't a drain-pour, I do not enjoy this. Not a good example of the style.

Where's my Flying Mouflan?

 683 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Served in a snifter with a nice fluffy bit of off-white head. Beer
itself is a cloudy brown. Decent lacing.

S: Very aromatic, especially citrus and orange. Orange blossoms.

T: Malty orange juice. I cannot understand how much this beer tastes like orange juice, and not in a good way. The sweet orange flavor with the bitter pith, even a bit of the acidic quality of the citrus. Throw in a bit of alcohol and malt. Novel at first, but stomach wrenching as I drank it.

M: Medium in weight with appropriate carbonation.

D: It took everything I had to get this beer down. I just couldn't get over the sweet orange juice flavor intermixed with the malt and alcohol. For me, this beer was almost unbearable.

 712 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

A: Pours a cherry red with single finger light caramel which dissipates quickly. No lacing. Vibrant color.

S: Malty, caramel malts, sharp alcohol tones. Sweet nose. Wish there was a hare more hop on this; the hops are simply piny/resiny and weak for an American BW.

T: Sweet. Very sweet for an ABW. Little to no bitterness from hops. Although I like it very much, I don't think it fits the profile for the style.

M: Medium with low carbonation. No resonance.

D: Exceedingly drinkable: could do this all night. I think with a year or two on it, the beer could shine, but it's a gamble.

 603 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this up in a trade with hero27.

Pours jet sticky red, with a hella lotta suspended sediment. If this were a river, it would be on the EPAs threatened streams list. Smells nice & fruity, with some overtones of oxidation...oh oh.

For a bottle that isn't terribly old, this is showing some signs of early oxidation, which is disheartening. Dark fruits are falling off the tree & hitting a bunch of malt & oxidation that's just making it's move out of the background & into the light, unfortunately, distracting from the more pleasant aspects of the beer. I can taste the goodness, but it's muted & masked. This bottle can't be two years old, why the fast decline?

Gnarlywine is slick & fast in the mouth & oozes fruitiness. Too sweet to drink much of, & the alcohol is prevalent.

Pretty good. Eventually I will have to pick up a completely fresh bottle to compare, but this one seems to have lost some shine pretty quickly.

 938 characters

Photo of Truh
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Felt a storm coming in my bones with this one on 3/17/2005. 10.5-oz goblet pour at Redbones.

Great wall of China buttress of 1/7-inch head made of tightly formed, ionic column bubbles that stick, at least a little. Slight hazy orange/gold hue, though on the darker side, with a fair amount of action. Sweetly oozing melting sugar on nose with a pleasant hop bite and some juice characters – orange and raspberry. A somewhat tinny character is immediately noted on mouth, and an oddly empty malt profile. For a barleywine, I expected a great deal more complexity. Sweet aspects seem to dominate with just echoes of malt and a pin prick of hop presence. Bottom rung on the ladder for this style.

 697 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had the 2009 and 2011 bottles for a nice little vertical tasting. Pours a hazy copper color with a strangely greenish tan head. nice lacing.

The 2-year old version is oxidized quite a bit and shows lots of caramel sweetness and cinnamon roll dough. Leafy, medicinal hops and alcohol - lots of it. Surprisingly, the 2011 is not much different, just without the oxidation. I thought for sure there would be more raw hop aroma and alcohol.

Syrupy sweet, both of them. I am amazed that the flavor profiles of these beers are so similar. Caramel, toffee and full bodied. I like the 2-year old version a little better, but I guess I am just not really a fan of this one in general. I am shocked by the rating of this beer here. Its like a harsher, less integrated Brown Shugga. I noticed that the 2004 label I have is 9.7%, I wonder why they unnecessarily raised the ABV on this? I remember liking it a little more back in the day.

 927 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Draught. Dark Copper. Pungent, fresh aroma, very reminiscent of Old Boardhead in its nose. Soft but sharp hops, along with fruity malt and caramel. Taste is strongly affected by a major lack of body and texture. Very hoppy (grapefruit, pineapple, orange) along with lacking very sweet malt (fruit, cherries mainly, medicine and caramel).

 337 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Half Pint Pub in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear orange-ish, with a very small head, and no lacing.

This smells fairly abrasive, boozy, and hoppy- admittedly, not the type of barleywine I prefer. There's a big sweet caramel aroma as well.

I feel this needs a year or two to calm down, at this point it's just too abrasive, too boozy, too hoppy, and just too much. There's a lot of malt sweetness, and really bitter piney hops, and some grapefruit. Just not a fan, to be honest.

This is medium bodied, with a bitter and slightly grainy mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

Meh, pass.

 614 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$4.99 bomber from Discount Beverages on Hoosick St in Troy, NY. Label claims 11% ABV, 69.39 IBU, 1.096 OG. Dated as "Twenty 'Aught-9", indicating brewed in 2009.

A: Thin filmy tan head following a weak pour. Dark golden honey color that turns deep strawberry red when held to a light. Don't drink barleywines frequently, but it looks a lot darker than what I remember as being typical. Heavier pour with the second half yields a massive 4-finger head that turns rocky as it dissipates slowly.

S: Lots of malt (duh), thick complex sweetness. Silage and livestock grains. Sweetness is big and full, overpowers most everything else. A grassy hop note far in the background.

T: Much like the smell. Lots of sweetness, thick toasty malts. Slight bitter molassas in the finish.

M: Thick and sweet, sugary slick coating on the tongue lingers for quite a while. Carbonation is a little light. Very filling.

D: 11% ABV?? Not sure I believe it... not detected on the palate or felt in the head. Goes down easily, but sweetness borders on being cloying, a little too much for my tastes. 22oz bomber in one sitting is quite heavy in my stomach.

Not a typical barleywine. Hoppiness is replaced entirely with sweetness. More like a sweet quad than anything else.

 1,255 characters

Photo of david18
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I can' t tell this breweries beer styles apart. they have low alcohol strong ales that they call red ales. Hoppy barleywines that they call double ipas. etc. This is another of what I believe to be their hybrid beers, which, like many of their others is a good beer worth trying. Not my favorite barley or Lagunitas brand,this beer has good color and aroma and is worthwhile if you see it on the shelves.

 404 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Syrupy sweet smelling malt, with sluggish honey-like roasted sugars. Touch of alcohol suggests strength. Light fruit notes - apple. Almost no hop noticeable in the aroma.

Deep copper color with burgundy highlights, too translucent to detect degree of clarity. Minimal head, but while it was there is was really nitro-creamy one - mmm!

Nice round malt flavor greets my tongue displaying deep roast, toasty midtones, fruit sweetness, and rich, syrup sweetness. A light hopping compliments the fruit-like sweetness with floral notes and cuts into the sugar-like sweetness with citric notes. A deeper, darker roasted character develops as it warms, as well as alcohol flourishes. Hop bitterness grows as well, taking control over the finish. Body is fairly thick with minimal carbonation. Vanilla notes intermingle with the malt midway through.

Not my favorite Barley Wine style ale out there. I like the IPA-strength BWs, and this is a malt-driven brew with minimal hops. I'd like to try it with more hops. The hop flavor it has is good, but just not enough. It does have a nice complex malt flavor though; and it's really sweet - gummy bears came to mind a few times - but by no means is it too sweet like highly-malted, higher ABV beers can be. Also notable: the alcohol never reared its potentially ugly head. I'd say it is a decent after dinner kind of drink to seduce you into a slumbering state without smacking you upside the head with tasty hops.

 1,471 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,611 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.